S. A. Yanina, General Overview of the collection of Juchi Coins from the Excavation and Collection of the Kuibyshev Expedition in Bulghar (1946-1958). (1)Go to
Plates, page 2
For 30 years, the systematic archeological work in Bulghar city collected 1697 examples of Juchi coins, which had sufficient completeness to reflect the conditions of circulation of coin types in ancient Bulghar and the basic stages of development of the city.
The collection of the Kuibyshen expedition of Juchi coins originates from three sources (see Table 1):
a) Coins found in the course of excavation and having stratigraphical certification-1,092 examples (141 silver and 951 copper).
b) Coins, originating from two hoards from Bulghar city-157 examples (only silver)
c) Chance finds in the city-448 examples (51 silver and 397 copper).
As seen from the details of Table 1, copper coins make up, invariably, the majority of single finds in the city.
The very earliest coin types appear as coins (silver and copper) with the name of Caliph an-Nasir lid-din-Allah, minted in Bulghar by Khan Baraka around 1259. (2) These types reveal an uninterrupted series of coins, continuing until the tragic moment of death of the city, destroyed, it appears to us, not in 1361 as the result of the capture of Bulghar by Bulak-Timur (3), but at some later time.
The date of 1361 us accepted in the literature as marking the time of death of Bulghar, accepted by overlooking the chronological distribution of numismatic material. In the quantity of coin, collected in Bulghar, the overwhelming majority consist of coins minted before 1360. Later coins are found in insignificant quantities in the territory of Bulghar itself. However, they are found in chiefly in the suburbs of Bulghar-Aga-Bazar, which began to grow (blossom) in connection with the destruction of Bulghar, which was a connection investigators had made.
What really happened is not so simple. On the territory of Bulghar, by excavation was found more than 150 coins, minted after 1361 (even excluding those around Aga-Bazar)-a number, which can hardly be disregarded. The fact itself of these finds of later coins-silver and copper-in Bulghar City proper witnesses to this that mercantile life of the city continued into the later third of the XIV century; although, truly, is a less intense form until the great end. Against the possibility of the assumption of the destruction of Bulghar in 1361 speaks, among other causes, at least circumstantially, the fact that Bulak-Timur captured the city and held it for several years. (4) This happened in a period, when in the course of internal strife by the Golden Hordes czareviches and princes, of which Bulak-Timur was numbered, he strove not to destroy his conquered city, but to strengthen his own power in it as a counterweight to the power of Sarais rulers. It is difficult to imagine that the destruction of a great city was the working of the will of the khan whose whole political potential depended on his union with Bulghar.
Considering the not large collection of coins minted after 1361, it is still impossible to explain them by local causes. To say that they were really produced only for the local Bulghar territory is impossible when comparing the Bulghar material with the material excavated and collected in other Golden Horde cities of this period (see Table 2). For this comparison we drew in the collections gathered in Selitrennoe city (collected by P. S. Rikova) and in Narodchat (data of A. A. Krotkov). (5) These cities are compared to the Juchi cities of Sarai and Mahrus which existed for a long time after 1360.
As in seen in Table 2, there are a very small quantity of coins in circulation in the period of occupation 1360-1380, a condition belonging not only to Bulghar, but also to the other cities of the Golden Horde as witnessed by the significant weakening of trade life in the cities of this period. The proportional division of coins minted before 1360 and after this date, coincides in Bulghar, Sarai, and Mahrus, demonstrating the lawful, natural relation to the whole (region). It is well known, that in the time of Toktamish was created a notable rebirth of Juchi mintage, well traced in the material of hoards. The rebirth can be felt, but in a really weak manner, by counting the material from Juchi cities. Significant opposing points of view among discovered hoards and collections gathered in the cities, is fully explicable. The material, collected in the cities represents a mass of representative copper coins whereas the hoards are composed of treasured silver coins. The copper mintage of Toktamish in all its variety does not bear any comparison with the copper mintage of the first half of the XIV century and the 1350s. This situation has already been studied by G. A. Fedorov-Davidov, who came to the conclusion about the strong degradation of internal trade life of the Golden Horde in the 80s of XIV century. (6) This is evidenced by the analysis of conditions of Juchi hoards, brought to our attention, by the famous isolation of Bulghar in the time under consideration by other Volga centers of the Golden Horde in the last third of the XIV century and in the beginning of the XV century. (7) All these considerations compel us to recognize, that after 1361, local circulation of coins still continued, even though remaining less intense than other Golden Horde cities of the period.
The last dated coins found in Bulghar city, appear as a type dated 807 AH (1404/1405), minted in Bulghar under the name of Shadi Beg. To the beginning of he XV century, apparently, we must connect the final abandonment of Bulghar. The composition of collected coins in Aga-Bazar, in general, does not support by themselves any indication that Aga-Bazar became a successor to Bulghar in 1360. The presence of Aga-Bazar of some quantity of early coins, and also a notable quantity of coins of the time of Toktamish accords well with the general laws of the conditions of monetary circulation of the Golden Horde in the beginning of the XV century. Moreover, the saturation of circulation by old coins in the first quarter of the XV century, especially underlines the condition of the principle mass of coins of this time found in Aga-Bazar, which consists of earlier types prepared with counterstamps and clipping.
Actual data of the growing urban life in Bulghar is established by observing the coin legends of the first quarter of the XV century. The mints of Ulu-Mohammed were founded already in the other Bulghar-New Bulghar, although on the coins is preserved the old name. These coins are not found in Bulghar city, and completely absent in Aga-Bazar. It is possible to suppose that the desertion of Bulghar is connected with the historical process of the final fall of the Golden Horde into the fully isolated (independent?) governments of Kazan, Astrakhan, and the Krimea. In any case, in summarizing the problem one must decided for this stated connection.
By placing the mintage of coins, collected in Bulghar and Aga-Bazar, in context with the materials collected from the cities of Selitrennoe and Narodchat, one can come to certain conclusions. (see Table 3)
Table 3 affirms the correctness of the point of view of V. V. Grigoriev and A. A. Krotkov that coins, minted in any Golden Horde city, accepted as legal (tender), with an increasing radius of their distribution from the center of production, gradually lessen in quantity, showing their maximum use in the center, and minimum (use) in the periphery. (8)
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Here follow a list of errata that have been incorporated in the translation (David Elliott)
In the catalog are used the following, preserving the enumeration of published coins:
Rec., p. , No.-- Ch. M. Fraehnii, Recensio numovum muhammedanorum. Petersburg, 1826
Fr. No.-X. M. Fren, Coins of the Khans of Ulus Juchi or the Golden Horden with Coins of Some Mohammed Dynasties in Addition, Moscow, 1832, pp. 418-425.
Krotkov, page, No.-A. A. Krotkov. Two Collections of Juchi Coins. Works of the Lower Volga Society of Local Historians, issue 37, Saratov, 1930, page, No.
Catalog of Juchi Coins of the Kuibyshev Expedition (collected 1958)
Monetary material of the Kuibyshev expedition of 1958 found in a secondary bed created from a second layer of XVI-XIX centuries, but also collected in the city. In all, 92 coins were found (9 silver and 83 copper); not counting two completely effaced coins.
The coins finds of 1958 as a whole, only increase the collected examples of types and variants established before, No 9a, 26g, 26h, 57c, 90, 92b, 143a, 146a, counterstamps 146b and c were among the coins found first by the Kuibyshev expedition.
No. 2: Copper, Obverse: An-Nasir id-din-Allah, (an Orthodox (true believing) sovereign)
Reverse: Earthly life is short, therefore make God welcome.
8 examples (chance finds). Rec., p. 188, No. 2; Fr. No 21.
No. 4: Copper, Obverse: Mangu-khan-tamgha Mangu-supreme
Reverse: Mint-tamgha Mangu-Bulghar.
2 examples. Rec., p. 191, No. 1; Fr. No 3.
Anonymous Coins, minted between 1280 and 1310
No. 9a: Silver, Obverse: In a design of dotted line circling in the midst of which is a fine circle:
An Nasir lid-dinAllah; Above, below, and on the sides-vines
Reverse: In a square design of points, part of which is transected by the top of the Tamgha of the
House of Batu: a dirham-tamgha of the house of Batu
-mint Bulghar,; below under the design 692 (1293)
1 example, Weight 1.32 g (chance find), Rec., p. 220. (pictured)
No. 12: Copper, Obverse: Bulghar mint
Reverse: Ornament as a type of quadrifoil lattice
4 examples (chance finds). Fr. No 374.
No. 14: Copper, Obverse: Tamgha of the House of Batu in triangular design
Reverse: To good fortune, a new pul.
8 examples (chance finds). Fr. No 381.
No. 26h: Silver, Obverse: Tamgha of the House of Batu
Reverse: Ornament of a type of double-finned fish.
1 example, Weight 0.95 g (chance finds). (Pictured)
No. 26i: Copper, Obverse: Tamgha of the House of Batu, Left:mint, Right: Krim?
Reverse: Partial inscription: Malik…
1 example, (chance find). (Pictured)
Uzbeg Khan (1313-1339)
No. 30: Copper, Obverse: In center:16 pul-denga, circling Mint of Sarai, 721 (1321).
Reverse: Five-pointed star.
1 example (chance find). Fr. No 67.
No. 37: Copper, Obverse: Pul of Bulghar
Reverse: Center: 5-pointed star, Batu tamgha, in points 734 (1333/1334)
9 examples (chance finds), Fr. No 53.
No. 40: Copper, Obverse: In a square divided in two: Most High Commander. Along the sides
of the cartouche: Coin of Sarai, 737 (1336/1337)
Reverse: Lion walking right, on his back a rising sun
12 examples (chance finds), Fr. No. 56.
No. 44: Silver, Obverse: In a design of 6 doubled arcs: High Sultan-vine-Sarai-vine-Muhammed
Uzbeg khan,740 (1339/1340)
1 example, Weight 1.50 grams (chance find), Fr. No. 63.
Jani Beg Khan (1339-1357)
No. 49- 50: Copper, Obverse: Mint of Sarai al Jedid, 10, 6 deng.
Reverse: Depiction of a stylized two-headed eagle
18 examples (chance finds), Fr. No. 387, A. A. Krotkov, p. 13, No. 6.
No. 57a: Silver, Obverse: Variant of No. 57. The number 4 is engraved on the last letter of the
1 example, Weight 0.95 g (chance find).
No. 57c: Silver, Obverse: Righteous Sultan, Jelal ad-din Mahmud, Jani Beg khan.
Reverse: In a design of sic brackets: Mint of Sarai al-Jedid, year 747
1 example, Weight 1.54 g (chance find), Rec. p. 234, No. 23. (Pictured)
No. 59: Silver, Obverse: Righteous Sultan Mahmud Jani Beg khan.
Reverse: Mint of Sarai-vine- al Mahrus, 749 (1348/1349)
1 example, Weight 1.41 g (chance find), Fr. No. 85.
No. 64: Silver, Obverse: Righteous Sultan Jani Beg Khan, Long may he rule.
Reverse: In a square design along the sides of which are vines: Mint of Sarai al
-Jedid, 751 (1350/1351)
1 example, Weight 1.49 g (chance find), Fr. No. 91.
No. 67: Copper, Obverse: Mint of Sarai al-Jedid, 752 (1351/1352)
Reverse: Ornament in the design of a blossoming flower
2 examples (chance finds), Fr. No. 97.
No. 72: Copper, Obverse: Mint of Sarai al-Jedid, 752 (1351/1352).
1 example (chance find), Rec., p. 244, No. 59.
Khizr Khan (1359-1361)
No. 84: Silver, Obverse: Righteous Sultan Khizr Khan, May his rule endure.
Reverse: Mint in city Gulistan, 761 (1359/1360)
1 example, Weight 1.51 g (chance find), Fr. No. 126.
No. 88: Copper, Obverse: Righteous Sultan Khizr Khan, May his rule endure. Both lines
included in a design.
Reverse: Minted in Gulistan, 762 (1360/1361).
5 examples (chance finds), Fr. No. 133.
No. 90: Copper, Obverse: See No. 88.
Reverse: Mint Sarai al-Jedid, 762.
6 examples, 1 with counterstamp - Aziz-khan, other with counterstamp khan, Fr. No. 128.
No. 90a:Copper,Obverse:Righteous sultan,Timur Hadji,may his rule endure;2nd line placed in a design,see No. 88
Reverse: See No. 90.
1 example (chance find), with two counterstamps: on the obverse khan ?, on the reverse, good 6/9.9. (Pictured)
Kildi Beg Khan (1361-1362)
No. 92b: Copper, Obverse: Very worn, can read only a partial inscription: Sultan Kildi Beg...
Reverse: Mint Sarai al-Jedid, 762 (1360/1361).
1 example (chance find), with counterstamp khan ?, apparently. (Pictured)
Toktamish Khan (1377-1396)
No. 124: Copper, Obverse: Mint Sarai, 790 or 795 (1388 or 1392/1393).
Reverse: Ornament of five intersecting double arcs.
1 example (chance find), with counterstamp of lyre-like tamgha, Rec., p. 408, No. 30.
No. 143a: Copper, Obverse: In center, surrounding seven dots, a broken unclear inscription.
Reverse: Minted in Khorezm…
1 example(chance find) (Pictured)
Counterstamps on Juchi Coins
No. 146:, Countestamp khan on one copper coin of Khizr, Sarai al-Jedid, 762 AH (see catalog, No. 90)
No. 146a: Counterstamp Aziz-khan. On one copper coin Khizr, Sarai al-Jedid, 762 AH (see catalog, No, 90)
No. 146b: Counterstamp khan ? or tamgha of a type of stirrup? On one copper coin of Kildi Beg, Sarai al-Jedid,
762 AH (see Catalog, No. 92b). (Pictured)
No. 146c: Two counterstamps on different sides of a copper coin of Timur-Hadji, Sarai al Jedid, 762 AH (see
Catalog No. 90a), first as No. 146b, the second good 6/9.9?
No. 150: Counterstamp as a type of lyre-like tamgha. On two copper coins: 1) anonymous, Sarai, 790 or 795
(see Catalog, No. 124); 2) effaced coin.
Imitation of Juchi Coins
No. 163: Silver, Unclear imitation.
1 example. Weight 0.78 g (chance find).
1. Current articles consist of four--completing-issues of the catalog of coins of the Golden Horde from the excavation and collection of the Kuibyshev expeditions. See MIA, No. 42, 1954, pp. 424-484, MIA, No. 61, 1958, pp. 392-423; MIA, No. 80, 1960, pp. 210-223.
2. MIA, No. 42, 1954, pp. 427-430, MIA, No. 61, 1958, pp. 394-399.
3. A. P. Smirnov. Basic Stages of the History of Bulghar City, MIA, No. 42, pp. 320, 321' B. B. Shiromskii, On the Question about the Campaign of Bulad-Timur. SA, 1958, vol 1.
4. PSRL, vol 4, pp. 64-66; vol 5, pp. 229, 231; vol VIII, pp. 11, 14.
5. A. A> Krotkov. Two Collection of Juchi Coins. Works of the Lower Volga Regional society, issue 37, Saratov, 1930.
6. G. A. Fedorov-Davidov. Hordes of Juchi Coins. Numismatics and Epigraphy, I.. Moscow, 1960, p. 113.
7. Ibid., p. 117.
8. A. A. Krotkov, op. cit., p. 6. Make note that A. A. Krotkov is his time expressed agreement, that nothing can yet be said, for want of observations, about coins minted in Bulghar, Majar, Khorezm (Ibid.).